Sunday, August 12, 2018

2018 IPMS/USA National Convention

(NB:  This is a photo-intensive blog entry.)

I have always wanted to attend this event, but never has it been close to anywhere I was living or located.  When I saw last year that this year the convention was coming to Phoenix and only 45 minutes from my house, I was very pleased and immediately blocked out the dates.

Visiting the legendary “vendor’s room”and seeing the very best models made by American modelers is not to be missed.  So, I signed up and attended the first full day of the event at the Phoenix Convention Center.  It was a balmy 109 outside, but very comfortable inside.  Besides, we have dry heat out here.  (Sticking your head in an oven is also experiencing dry heat.)  The fact is you get used to it.  And summertime is building time here in the Southwest.  September through May the weather is just too nice to be inside.  June, July and August are my most productive building months.

The registration chores were ably handled by the staff.

I attended one seminar right away on photographing models presented by John Ferdico, a modeler and professional photographer.  He had a lot of good advice to offer.

Next, it was time to check out the vendor’s room.  Someone once referred to it as the world’s largest hobby shop, and I think they were correct.  Special Hobbies and Eduard were there from the Czech Republic, but they were only taking cash, so it is a good thing I brought a fairly good-sized supply with me.  Their latest and their best kits and aftermarket accessories were available for a nice discount.  (I really appreciated that.  The usual “show discount” we see is about .000001%.) 

Lots of other manufacturers and sellers were there, too.  Not Revell, however.  Someone had a great pile of the latest 1/32nd scale Revell P-51D for only $25.  They may have been the last ones available in the USA for some time.

The display hall was not completely filled with models when I visited on Thursday in the morning and early afternoon, but by 3PM they were flooding in.  Still, there was a great selection to see while I was there.  One gets a bit overwhelmed after about 200 or so models, let alone models by the thousand.

Unfortunately, most models were placed right on top of the paper describing them, i.e., scale, kit, extra parts added, etc., so I cannot give you that information here.  None the less, here are some of the ones that caught my eye. 

I should have taken a picture of a sign I saw, but I was concentrating on taking model photos.  The sign had a picture of a nurse on it, and it said something along these lines:  "Hi, I am your trauma nurse, and I will be helping you recover from all the injuries you will have after you touch one of the models." 

Frankly, after an hour or so of looking at models, one m]needs to take a break (in the vendor’s room) to clear your head and then come back.

I was very inspired by what I saw.  The P-40 Tomahawk below is the old Monogram kit.  For a modeler to take a kit from 1966 (I believe) and enter it in the 2018 IPMS/USA Nationals is a big deal in my book.  He did a really nice job with that old kit, and I hope he one some kind of award for his effort.  If you have some old Monogram or Otaki kits in your stash, they are worth looking at again.

Here are some aircraft followed by armored models:

I had a great time at this show.  If you are ever within a day's drive of one, you should go for it.  Or, if you are a business flyer with a ton of extra miles to use, go for it.  Every modeler should do this one once in his/her life.

As always, thank you for looking at this post.  Comments are welcome.